A shake-and-bake meth lab had already exploded in the lap of a Missouri man, when police and firefighters responded to a report of a vehicle on fire on Bridge east of St. Clair around 7 p.m. Witnesses reported to police that three individuals fled from the burning vehicle, one of whom was severely burned and bleeding. When police arrived, the car was fully engulfed in flames, but its previous occupants were no where to be found.
At 8:41, about an hour-and-a-half after police learned of the fire, a badly burned man and a woman matching the description of witnesses, arrived at the Meramec Ambulance District’s House 2 in Villa Ridge. Nearly 50% of the man’s body had been burned by the chemically-induced fire, necessitating that he be life-flighted to Mercy Hospital Burn Unit in Creve Coeur. The woman was transported to the Creve Coer by ambulance to be treated for minor burns to her face and hands.
According to Sheriff Gary Toelke, the man had been holding the meth lab bottle between his legs, when it exploded and caused his life-threatening burns. It apparently wasn’t the first time that he’d tempted fate. He has also been in Franklin County jail 8 times since 2006, for charges involving assault, traffic, and drugs.
The third person that witnesses saw running from the vehicle was apprehended by police around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, when they found him walking along a road in St. Clair. Police say that he was released from Franklin County jail around 2 p.m. on Thursday, just about 5 hours before the meth lab explosion occurred.
The vehicle was completely destroyed by the fire.
Domke, Keith E. “The Missourian, Washington, MO.” The Missourian. 24 Mar. 2012. Web. 24 Mar. 2012. <http://www.emissourian.com/news/st_clair_news/article_f4be8682-7518-11e1-8a4d-001871e3ce6c.html>.